Talmud chacham is one of the most used words.

Is a Talmud chacham someone who has a semicha, or someone who delves in Torah or anything else?


Looking at the definition of Talmid Chacham as it is found in Sefer Kehillat Yaacov of Rabbi Yaacov Tzvi Yolles, z"l, it says the distinguishing characteristics of a talmid chacham are primarily: kindness and understanding.

That these traights are a consequence of studying G-d's ways, like we learn from Rabbi Elazar quoting Rabbi Chaninah (Brachot 64a, Yevamot 122b, Nazir 66b, Keritot 28b and Tamid 32b), "Talmidei Chachamim increase peace in the world, as it says And all your children are Students of G-d, your children increase peace. Do not read, 'your children, but your builders.

The intention is that Talmidei Chachamim increase peace, meaning the covenant of peace, in the world.

Over this last Shabbat, parshat Kedoshim, I came across an interesting Chassidic discourse from the Lubavitcher Rebbe in תורת מנחם התוועדויות מג חלק שלישי - תשכ"ה beginning with the words, "והדרת פני זקן כו," which discusses this subject.

The Rebbe says that another essential aspect of acquiring the title of Talmid Chacham is related to, minimally, knowing by heart, meaning having the entire text memorized, the entire five books of Moshe, at least. And in terms of halacha, to minimally have at least all of seder Kedoshim from the Mishah memorized. For the details of why these particular requirements are present, please see the linked discourse. It is fully sourced and quite enlightening.

Kehillat Yaacov_Talmid Chacham

  • The text of the Kehilat Yaacov is very interesting. I didn't know that the Melo Haroyim was a Chasid. He writes שוב מצאתי בדברי קדשו של הרב שכך כתבשמחתי וזה לשונו. Who is the Rav. (The text is kabbalistic and maybe that the OP looks for a simple answer al pi hapshat)
    – kouty
    May 9 '19 at 19:12
  • @kouty Usually in this sefer when he uses that term, he is referring to the Ari z"l. If you cross reference to the word בריאה and read through, it makes a reference to Etz Chaim discussing this subject. Regarding the simple answer, that is why I emphasized the simplest aspect, the kindness and understanding. The Lubavitcher Rebbe quotes him from this sefer often. He also maintained good relations with his relative who was the Rav of Philadelphia for many years and father-in-law of Rabbi Dov Brisman. May 9 '19 at 19:19

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